|On the 29th of September the government of Iceland declared that it would nationalize one of the big three Icelandic banks. This started a chain reaction of runs on the other banks and political screwups that we still haven't seen the end of and resulted in a complete meltdown of the Icelandic economy, affecting millions of people in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.|
There is a wikipedia article here for some of the details.
There is a massive blame game going on, with the head of the central bank, former prime minister DavÝ Oddson, claiming that he saw the signs and warned about the imminent collapse on several meetings with the government.
DavÝ also went on an interview claiming that Iceland would "simply divide the banks into domestic and foreign banks, and the whole thing will blow over within a few weeks". This has been claimed by many to be the main reason for the terrorist laws being applied to Landsbankinn in the UK.
- Was one of the main authors of the rules that made it possible for the banks to become 10 times as large as Iceland
- Announced that Iceland had secured a loan from Russia, when no such thing had happened
- Announced that he knows what the "real reason" for the application of the terror laws were
- Was asked by the parliament what the "rela reason" for the terror laws was. He refused to answer
- Been suspected of nationalizing Glitnir out of pure spite. The bankers claim that there was no reason for that action and all the Icelandic banks tumbled because of that.
DavÝ Oddson believes he holds no responsibility for the current state of the Icelandic economy.
The minister of commerce, Bj÷rgvin G. Sigursson, claims that he never once met with DavÝ in 2008 until the banking crisis had started, which would render DavÝ's warnings lies, but the minister clearly incompetent. The minister claims DavÝ avoided his calls during this period. Bj÷rgvin believes he holds no responsibility for the state of the Icelandic economy.
The minister of finance, ┴rni MatthÝasson, refuses to comment on whether or whether not DavÝ warned him or not. He also made a call to minister of finance, Darling ,in the UK, where he apparently "couldn't ensure the deposits in the Icesave accounts in the UK". Darling made this renown in the UK press the day after.
None of the sitting ministers believe they have any responsibility for the crash. Parliament claims "that they are blind and mute", meaning that the government sidesteps parliament in all decision. The decision to accept the $2bn loan from the IMF, was taken by the government, even though it clearly says in the constitution that parliement should have voted on it.
The head of the Financial Supervisory Authority has not resigned, despite giving all the banks first rate of security two weeks before the collapse.
DavÝ can only be fired by the current Prime Minister, Geir H. Haarde, who refuses to do so. Probably because he would have to resign right after that.
Parliament can dissolve the government but have voted not to do it even though 70% of the nation would like just that to happen, according to polls.
There have been no laws passed that would freeze the assets of the 30 or so capitalists that caused the overblown banking system.
All the people who have been appointed to investigate the collapse are lackeys of those same capitalists, with some of the capitalists coming directly to their own investigations.
The capitalist holding companies have declared bankruptcy and the capitalists have created new ones, both with loans from the collapsed banks and their own capital, and they are buying the assets on fire sale prices.
People are losing their jobs, fast and those who haven't have had to take big wage cuts. Mortgages are going up with the inflation as almost everyone has inflation insured loans, except for those who had loans in Euros, whose mortgage have doubled.
Iceland is dependent on imports for most food. Prices have doubled.
In light of all this - the people have taken to the streets.
For the last 8 Saturdays thousands of people have gathered downtown in front of Parliament to protest. The main demands have been that government should resign, the heads of the central bank should resign and that we need to vote for a new parliament.
The demonstrations have grown from 500 to 1000 to 2000 to 4000 and been steady around 8000-9000 until last Saturday when it dropped back to 5000. (Quite possibly due to the cold, and just hopelessness that anything is achieved by these protests.) 9000 people is 3% of the whole population, just to put this in perspective.
Most of the media downplayed the numbers of protesters until independent youtube news casts showed them to be liars.
A few weeks ago, on a friday, the police arrested an activist, that had flown a flag on the house of parliament. The flag suggested that the parliament was controlled by the bankers. See video
On the next Saturday approximately 500 protesters went after the main protest was finished and demonstrated for 2 hours outside the police station where he was being held and demanded his release. The protesters in fact broke into the policestation and got sprayed with UC. In the end he was released. Video here, must push play button Video of release
Last Monday there was the Self-governance Day and another protest during worktime. As us Icelanders are workslaves only around 2000 people showed up. After the protests approximately 200 people went to the central bank, with the plan of getting rid of the central bank head by direct action. They were threatened with UC, but kept sitting in there resulting in a stalemate. In a few hours when everybody was pretty sure that DavÝ had left and the stalemate was resolved peacefully when one of the demonstrators made the suggestion that the cops should leave first and then the protestors would leave right away. (towards the end of the video) Video
So there are many holes here, I'm not a big writer and I'll have to flesh out some details as we go and when I have time. Also I'm rambling.
But I have a question for you Barbelith. Us Icelanders are pretty new at this whole protesting game, we are sheeple, in fact.
But the whole nation wants *at least* the heads of the central banks to resign, we want an independent investigation of the collapse. Most want a new government (elections not until 2011), some want to apply for the EU etc.
How do we do this without blood when the government laughs at the protests. What are some tactics that we could use to force the PM to fire the head of bank? Help the sheeple fight the wolves!